Sketching an Outdoor Cafe

Outdoor CafeIn our last sketching class we will be trying our hand at an outdoor cafe scene. The focal point is the table and umbrella that is surrounded by all the greenery and flowers. Each of our lessons features a new technique. This week’s class is about color – specifically mixing color. It maybe easy to use every color in our pencil collection but it is better to understand how colors interact so that when our favorite pencil breaks we can continue with our projects. Our challenge will be to see how few colors we can use and still create an interesting composition.

I used five colors in my drawing on the right – gamboge, light cerulean blue, magenta, bistre (light brown), and white. You may be wondering how I used them. Before I tell you let me point out that with pencils you need to layer colors on top of each other to get them to mix. For example I layered the gamboge (a warm yellow) with the light blue in different amounts for the foliage. Less blue for the lighter greens, more blue for the darker greens. You can also increase the value by varying the pressure on the pencil. Heavier pressure gives a stronger color, less pressure a lighter color. Take out a few pencils and see what color combinations you can come up with for your own outdoor cafe sketch.

Next week I’ll be teaching a one-night class on painting poinsettia flowers in Chinese Brush. It’s going to be a lot of fun.

Until next time…keep those pencils sharp!